‘Our chemistry was undeniable. One day we snuck out of class to meet up in the hallway and kissed for the first time. We’ve been together ever since!’ Erika & Jeffrey confess… That was in grade 11.
They met in high school in the 9th grade and started out as distant friends, as they shared the same group of friends. After months of innocent flirting and late night phone calls that went on for hours, we realized that they were meant for each other. Jeff still claims it was love at first sight for him!
Jeff proposed on a weeklong cruise with about 18 of Erika’s family members. His cousins kept the ring hidden for almost the entire vacation, waiting for the right moment. The week was almost over when Erika & Jeff spontaneously booked a romantic photo session… and Jeff realized this was the perfect opportunity to surprise his love while getting the moment captured on camera.
Erika recalls, ‘One of my younger cousins tagged along saying she was bored and wanted to see us take the photos (turns out she was carrying the ring in her purse!) The photographer (whom Jeff had informed about his plan) had us take photos all around the boat and then took us out on the deck. On the way out, we passed by nearly all of my other family members hanging around the pool and waved to them. The photographer had me pose while gazing into the sunset with my back turned to Jeff. When he told me to turn around and face Jeff, he was down on one knee holding out the ring box. I immediately burst into tears as I heard my cousin and the rest of my family members (who had found their way away from the pool to watch!) cheering. Jeff’s hands were shaking and he tried to open the box and I was so nervous that he would drop it! He told me he loved me and asked me if I would do him the honour of being his wife. I said “YES!!” and practically grabbed the ring from him in excitement.’ Next, their family members rushed over, still dripping wet from the pool, to congratulate them.
Three things Jeff loves about Erika: ‘I love her attention to detail, her strength, and the fact that she always puts me first, even when I tell her not to.’
Three things Erika loves about Jeffrey: ‘He has an amazing way of making me laugh or smile even when I’m having a bad day. He is also incredibly selfless; he always goes out of his way to make me happy. Last but not least, he is really easygoing; he gets along with everyone he meets, even my crazy family!’
The ‘First Touch’ was incredibly … touching!!! Erika & Jeff really wanted to wait for the ‘walk-down-the-aisle’ reveal and chose not to see each other for the First Look, so we came up with another special moment for them to share. We surprised them with a couple of special songs on our little boombox that were meaningful to them, as they held hands on the bridal suite balcony. Definitely my favourite moment of the Day!!
This was the very first time we got to see Erika & Jeff together and I couldn’t help crying, it was so beautiful. Their love is so magical and feels new, even after these 9 years together.
‘I feel that it’s because of Erika that I am where I am today. She is the one who always pushes me to strive for better. She’s even the one who encouraged me to try for the job that I have today. I love that she’s my biggest cheerleader, no matter what it is.’
‘Jeff is truly the yin to my yang. Whenever I get too serious, he helps me find my silly/fun side and laugh. He believes in me and it was because of his encouragement that I decided to go back to school, quit my full-time job and pursue the teaching career I always wanted.’
Erika’s favourite things to find in the fridge: ‘I am obsessed with cookie dough ice cream!’
Jeff’s favourite things to find in the fridge: ‘Anything Erika cooks!’
Most romantic memory together: ‘It was a Valentine’s Day weekend about 3 years ago. Jeffrey told me to pack a bag for the next two days and surprised me with a beautiful hotel suite in Manhattan. We had a wonderful Italian dinner and the next night he surprised me with a Valentine’s dinner cruise! It was an enclosed boat with a romantic Jazz band that played for hours as we sipped wine and the boat circled lower Manhattan and even passed the Statue of Liberty. It was magical and so unbelievably romantic.’
Erika & Jeffrey, you two are such beautiful human beings and together, shine brilliantly! You are such an inspiration to your family and friends … and are surrounded by so much love. It was a gift & privilege for us to see. LOVE LOVE LOVE! K+R.